The writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (RSRH) deeply resonate with many people today, as they have since the time he penned them in the middle of the nineteenth century, using them to recreate a community of modern, Torah-faithful Jews in Frankfurt that had all but disappeared. Many find that, ironically, his words seem more suited for our times than when he composed them. He stands almost alone among commentators in dealing with many themes of modernity: cultrual evolution; our relationships with non-Jews; the Jewish mission to the rest of civilization; freedom of the will versus determinism; autonomy and totalitarianism; understanding the impact of paganism on the ancient world. Of course, his treatment of symbolism.
Each week, we will present some thought of RSRH on the parshah. Most will be taken from his great commentary on the Torah. Recognizing that his language is often a barrier to students, we will take his thought and completely retool and reframe it. We hope that the kernel thought will be faithful to him, while the development will remain the responsibility of the author.
We hope that these offerings will prove to be an inspiring and enlightening weekly foray into the rich world of the contribution of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.
If you'd like, you can see the list of all archived Rav Hirsch articles on the Parsha, or the index to all archived Torah Portion articles.